Dear blessed Friday Jemaah,
Takwa is a very important aspect for every servant of Allah. It guides our actions and behaviour to obey what Allah has commanded upon us and avoid what He has prohibited upon us.
In principle, all the laws and rules prescribed by Allah s.w.t. are intended for the preservation of our life in this world and the hereafter. Thus, Allah s.w.t. commands His servants to reflect upon the wisdom or hikmah behind everything that He has prescribed for us. Allah s.w.t. says in surah Saad verse 29:
Which means: “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.”
The matters that Allah s.w.t. intends to preserve through His guidance and laws are known as “Daruriyat Al-khams”, which refers to the five basic needs to ensure safety and continuation of humanity.
These five basic needs are: Preservation of deen or religion (hifz al-din), life (hifz al-nafs), intellect and reason (hifz al-aql), lineage (hifz al-nasb) and wealth (hifz al-mal).
My dear brothers,
The Maqasid of the preservation of these five elements are among the considerations that we have to take into account when we live our lives, as well as in the practice of our religion.
We need to realise that as time passes and changes in circumstances occur, a matter which was previously not considered as pertinent and important could now require urgent addressing; especially when aspects of the preservation of life and health are concerned.
For example, caring for the environment. Previously, it may not be regarded as a matter that requires much attention. However, because of irresponsible actions by man in pursuit of material wealth and development, environmental sustainability is often overlooked. Consequently, it leaves harmful effects for us and the future generations. Recently, there were reports in the media about climate change that has adversely affected many countries. The report quoted experts who are of the opinion that the situation will worsen and become more complicated if remedial measures and preventive actions are not taken immediately. It would even threaten the lives of humans and creatures.
Thus, based on the aim of the syariah which emphasises the preservation of life (both human life and that of the creatures on earth), preserving our environment is an important aspect of today’s life and in fact it should become a religious obligation. It is the responsibility of every one of us to play our part in protecting this earth. Allah s.w.t says in surah Ar-Rum verse 41:
Which means: “Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness].”
We have recently experienced how the haze and prolonged dry spell made it challenging and difficult for us. Let us pray that we do not get to the level where we are tested by Allah with a more severe test, because of our failure to take actions to remedy the current situation. Thus, in caring for the environment we can start by reducing the amount of plastic bags that we use. This can be done by bringing our own reusable shopping bags when we go to the supermarket or the market.
We also need to reduce using materials made of Styrofoam which can lead to serious problems for the environment as it takes a long time to break down. Thus we should opt for bio-degradable tableware when we have gatherings so that we do not harm the environment. We should also ensure that we do not waste other resources such as water, electricity and so on, and use only what we need. Remember the Prophet s.a.w. reminded us: “Even if the end of time is upon you and you have a seedling in your hand, plant it.” [Hadith narrated by Imam Ahmad, Al-Musnad]
Remember my brothers, Allah has bestowed upon us the earth and it is our responsibility to care and protect it. The hadith that I have shared is a reminder that we should ensure that we contribute to the preservation of nature, helping it to thrive, and not the cause of its destruction. No effort or contribution is too small in the sight of Allah. Thus, let us instil the determination to play our part in preserving Allah’s bounties. May Allah s.w.t. protect us and the earth that He has bestowed upon us. Amin. Ya Rabbal ’Alamin.
Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
Friday Sermon, 4 April 2014 / 4 Jamadilakhir 1435